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St. Francis Health Center
Minimally Invasive Surgical Options
1700 S.W. 7th St.
Topeka, KS 66606

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Cardiology: Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery once entailed splitting the chest and stretching the sides apart so a surgeon could make repairs.

Today, however, minimally invasive techniques enable surgeons like Sanjay Tripathi, M.D., St. Francis Cardiothoracic Surgery, to perform heart surgeries through two-inch incisions on a patient's side.

Facing surgery of any kind can be frightening, but it's important to learn about options available that offer minimally invasive techniques, including da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgery.

If your doctor has recommended coronary artery bypass surgery, ask about da Vinci surgery, a minimally invasive surgical technique performed without the need for a heart-lung machine. This technique allows for only small incisions to be made between the ribs, avoiding the need for a sternotomy, which requires a large incision, cutting through the breastbone and spreading the ribs to access the heart.

Patients who undergo minimally invasive heart surgery typically have clinical outcomes similar to those of open heart surgeries but may also experience:

  • Shorter hospital stay.
  • Less pain and scarring.
  • Less risk of infection.
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions.
  • Faster recovery.
  • Quicker return to normal activities.

Currently in Kansas, minimally invasive heart surgeries are being done only at St. Francis Health Center and the University of Kansas Hospital, both of which were recognized by HealthGrades for being in the top 5 percent of the nation's hospitals for clinical excellence.

Additional minimally invasive procedures performed at St. Francis include:

  • VATS (Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery).
  • Thoracoscopic Lobectomy.
  • Robotic Thoracic Surgery.
  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair.
  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Replacement.
  • Minimally Invasive Myxoma Removal.
  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement.
  • Minimally Invasive Tricuspid Valve Repair.
  • MIDCAB (Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass).

How da Vinci® Surgery Works

Once the surgeon makes laparoscopic incisions and positions the robotic arms, he or she sits at a remote control panel near the patient to review the surgical site in 3-D. The surgeon then manipulates the robot to complete the surgery. The robot filters out hand tremors and other factors that can affect a traditional open surgery. A complete surgical team is with the surgeon and the patient at all times, as in all surgeries, to monitor the patient and assist with the robot.

Surgeons who use the da Vinci system must attend training sessions to become certified. A certified surgeon serving as a proctor must then observe the surgeon before he or she can begin using the robot.

To schedule a consultation with a physician about your options for minimally invasive heart surgery, call 785-270-5115.